Bring out the inner beast with 7UP Revive

Dubai is one of my most favorite places in the world. If you know me personally, you would know the number of people I’m acquainted with in Khalifa land. Yes, I have at least 50 relatives each, from both sides of the family. Crazy, isn’t it? So every time I visit (which is almost once and sometimes even twice a year), I have a zillion social gatherings to attend and places to check out. But this time, I wasn’t the one going to Dubai, in fact some of my closest cousins were flying down to Mumbai. Needless to say, I was excited beyond words. Since they were visiting the city of kaali peelis and rickshaws for the first time, obviously there was plenty in store for them. So I took it upon myself to plan their itinerary in order to give them a feel of the city of dreams. Keeping in mind their tight schedule (yeah, family get-togethers are never ending), we decided to dedicate a day solely to Mumbai Darshan. We couldn’t cover everything due to lack of time, but we wanted to make the most of all that was on our list. And so it began…

We started off with the iconic Siddhivinayak Temple. Since it was a Tuesday morning, it was quite crowded and we had to wait a while in the line that lets you inside the temple. Luckily, I had carried a few bottles of 7UP Revive (which BTW is India’s first hydrotonic drink launched by 7UP), which I handed out to each one of my entourage. It was going to be a long and hectic day ahead, so it was important for us to keep hydrating ourselves. A couple of sips and we were good to go. Once we entered, we took blessings of the great deity and soon after, left for our next destination – High Street Phoenix.

An all-girls trip is incomplete without some shopping and binging and luckily, this mall houses the best of both. We started shopping and as you know, it never really stops till someone drops…well, that’s exactly what happened in our case too. We went strolling about for a couple of hours and were eventually feeling drained out. Guess what came to our rescue? 7UP Revive! There’s just something amazing about this hydrating beverage. One sip and you start feeling fresh again as it helps replenish all the fluids and electrolytes that are lost while sweating. No matter how exhausted you may be, this instant replenisher surely helps to restore all that is lost and makes you super active super fast.

Now that we were fully recharged, we decided to proceed to South Mumbai to admire the stunning Queen’s Necklace, Marine Drive, VT Station and the iconic Gateway of India. At every destination, we halted for a few pictures. After all, we all need good Facebook profile pictures, don’t we? And who would ever miss capturing a silhouette against the setting sun at Marine Drive or a picture with the royal Taj Mahal Palace hotel in the background. Since we were close to Colaba Causeway, we decided to walk through the street and indulge in some street shopping as well. At first, we decided to stop at one of the cafes adorning the street to grab a quick bite, but then one of my cousins said, ‘Guys, I’m feeling quite energetic. This blue bottle is bringing out the beast in me. Do we really need to stop?’ So we joyfully sipped on our 7UP Revive bottles and proceeded as per plan.

It was about 5.30pm and we still had to drive through the Bandra-Worli Sealink, visit Mt. Mary Church and enjoy some Mumbai-special chaat at Juhu beach. So we quickly got into the car and took off to complete all that was left for the day. By the time we ticked everything off the list, it was 9pm and we couldn’t believe how active we were feeling as our day had begun at 10am. It is only natural to feel tired and low on energy if you’ve been out the entire day but we, on the other hand, were full of life. I guess it’s because we kept hydrating ourselves with 7UP Revive. Had we not, this scorching summer heat would’ve surely taken a toll on us. That’s when we decided to rename it as our ‘Sweat loss ka recharge.’ It truly brought all the fun and excitement back in our day every time we felt fatigued and lethargic.

FullSizeRender(6)

FullSizeRender(7)

FullSizeRender(6) copy

IMG_0294

Advertisements

Celebrating the Harvest season at Tiqri, Taj Santacruz

In a country like India, festivals are synonymous to food. If a family is celebrating a big day, a grand feast is sure to follow. So if your loved ones are Bengali or Punjabi, you’re most certainly in for a treat this weekend. And if not, don’t worry! You can still enjoy their traditional fare – courtesy Taj Hotels.

Offering an amalgam of flavorsome recipes, Taj city hotels are hosting a special food festival with lip-smacking delicacies from West Bengal and Punjab on the occasion of Poila Baisakh and Baisakhi. So when I was invited to Tiqri, Taj Santacruz‘ all-day dining restaurant, I was delighted beyond words. Thanks to Chef Dinesh and his hospitable team, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience.

A special a-la-carte menu offering a variety of Bengali and Punjabi dishes has been created for this week. Since we were there for a tasting, we got to sample a little bit of all the dishes.

We began the revelries of Nobo Borsho with:
– A chilled and soothing glass of Bengali style Aamrus that was similar to Aam panna
– Kasha Posto Bora served with Chole Dhonepatar Bhate – Poppy seed cakes with chickpea and cilantro mash went perfectly well with each other
– Egg roll – One can never really go wrong with Kolkata’s famous street food speciality
– Chicken Rezale – chunks of chicken were dunked in a rich, aromatic white gravy made with subtle spices
– Potol Posto – pointed gourd in poppy seed based gravy was a different take to the usual gourd masala made at home. Also, this dish is best enjoyed in the months of summer, as pointed gourd is a summer vegetable in India
– Doi Fulkopi – Bengali style cauliflower made with spicy yogurt curry was a simple, classic dish, full of flavor and less spicy
– Bhaja Muger Dal – Lost my heart to the special aroma of dry roasted moong dal and dollops of ghee, making this sumptuous Bengali specialty dal my favorite for the night
– Luchi – Deep-fried puffed bread, best enjoyed with various gravies
– Nolen Gurer Mousse – Date palm jaggery mousse garnished with strawberries was smooth, light and well-balanced.

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 10.57.53 am.png

Aamrus

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 10.58.05 am.png

Poppy seed cakes & egg wrap

While our Bengali fare consisted of all the above, our Baisakhi feast was also an extravagant one:
– Dry fruit lassi – Sweetened lassi enhanced with dry fruits and saffron was indulgently rich, creamy and delicious
– Sarso Murgh Tikka – We all know how famous the North is for all its delectable mustard infused preparations. This tandoor grilled chicken was no different
– Tandoori Haryali Aloo – Marinated with fresh garden leaves, these baby potatoes were flavorful and pleasing
– Mutton Saagwala – A typical North Indian version of lamb and spinach based curry, this dish was rich and bursting with flavors
– Pindi Chana – If you’re enjoying a North Indian meal, you know that Rawalpindi inspired chana will always be a winner
– Dum wale Rajma Chawal – Rajma Chawal, dum cooked for several hours and then served like a biryani made this aromatic dish oh-so-comforting!
– Mutton Biryani – This amazingly tasty preparation consisting of mutton chunks and rice was dum cooked with spices making it irresistible
– Laccha Paratha – flaky Indian flat bread served with the gravies
– Makhana Kheer – Lotus seed in sweetened and reduced flavoured milk. Small pieces of makhanas just added a twist to the humble rabdi.

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 10.57.56 am.png

Dry fruit lassi

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 10.58.02 am.png

Dum Rajma Chawal

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 10.58.07 am

Top (l-r): Mutton Saagwalla, Pindi Channa… Bottom (l-r): Cauliflower, Chicken Stew & Dal

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 10.58.00 am

Nulen Gurer Mouuse & Makhana Kheer

After eating so much, we were obviously stuffed but more than the food, we were brimming with all the love and care that was showered upon us by the kind and hospitable team at Tiqri.

FYI:

While West Bengal and Punjab are all set to celebrate today, Mumbai is geared up to usher in the harvest season with great pomp at Masala KraftThe Taj Mahal Palace, Tiqri – Taj Santacruz and Masala BayTaj Lands End from 14th to 23rd April, 2017. While the latter will only be serving traditional Punjabi delicacies, one can make the most of Bengali and Punjabi specialties at the other two city hotels. If you want to get a true feel of the festivities in West Bengal & Punjab, don’t miss out on this food fest.

Tiqri - Taj Santacruz Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

2 healthy dessert recipes made with organic products from Kokos Natural

We’re currently living in the ‘organic’ age! All of a sudden, everyone has started focusing on all things pure and natural. So when I came across Kokos Natural, I thought maybe its just another brand in the market. But I was wrong!

Kokos Natural is an export and retail house that specializes in selling natural & organic products. With products like organic coconut sugar, Himalayan pink salt and raw banana flour, they aim to transform the food industry into a healthier and organic eating one.

FYI –

– Organic Coconut Sugar:
With the sweetness similar to cane sugar, organic coconut sugar is the best substitute sweetener without any negative health hazards. Suitable for anyone with diabetes, gallstones, cancer and heart diseases, coconut sugar is obtained from the Coconut Nucifera grown in abundance in South India, South East Asia and Hawaii. It is minimally processed, unbleached and contains no preservatives.
Their Tropikoko Organic Coconut Sugar is one of the healthiest sweeteners as it has a low glycemic Index, low fructose content and trace amounts of various vitamins and minerals.

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 4.22.02 pm

– Himalayan Pink Salt:
Hand mined from the Himalayan Mountain range, Himalayan pink salt is not only a substitute, but a better choice than table salt. The salt color varies from pink to white to red, depending on the rich iron content in it. Protected from today’s pollution because of its pristine environment, snow and lava beds, Himalayan pink salt is said to be the purest form of salt on Earth.
Their Natirèl Himalayan Pink Salt is the best option to regulate body hydration levels, blood pressure, and healthy sleep patterns. It also has less sodium intake per serving in comparison to table salt, making it a healthier option.

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 5.00.29 pm

– Raw Banana Flour:
A gluten free replacement of flour, raw banana flour is becoming a fast growing trend amongst a lot of new diets. With its light texture, high fiber content, low sugar content, low cholesterol and zero chemicals and preservatives, it is the fastest growing substitute for wheat and whole wheat flours.
Their Natirèl Raw Banana Flour can be incorporated into every meal of the day and can be preserved from 6 months to a year, if stored in place free of moisture and excess heat.

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 4.21.33 pm

Here are some super easy, healthy dessert recipes incorporating all the above products. Don’t forget to tag me if you try them 🙂

Chocolate Beetroot Cake:
Ingredients:
– 160g roasted beetroot (about 1 medium/large)
– 90g Kokos Natural Organic Coconut sugar
– 60g dark chocolate, chopped
– 80g olive oil
– 2 eggs
– A pinch of salt
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 20g cocoa powder
– 55g Kokos Natural Raw Banana Flour
– 1 tbsp tapioca flour
– 1 tsp baking powder

Method:
– Puree the beetroot, chocolate and sugar together for 10 seconds in a blender.
– Add the oil, eggs, salt, vanilla and cacao powder, and blend for 10 seconds.
– Add the banana flour, tapioca flour and baking powder and fold until well combined. Pour into a lined cake tin and bake for 30-25 minutes at 160*C.

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 4.57.37 pm

Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Ingredients:
– 2 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
– 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
– 2 large eggs
– 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1 pinch ground cinnamon
– 2 cups chocolate chips
– 1 tbsp Kokos Natural Himalayan Pink Salt

Method:
– Preheat oven to 180*C
– In a mixing bowl, beat the brown sugar and butter together at medium speed until fluffy.
– Add the eggs and beat until combined.
– In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, then add to the butter mixture and combine. Stir in the chips by hand.
– Drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets by rounded 1-inch balls, leaving 1 inch between them. Sprinkle a pinch of Himalayan pink salt on top of each ball of dough.

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 5.00.36 pm

5 min Singaporean flat rice noodles

Singaporean food is a significant cultural attraction for tourists and visitors. Influenced by various ethnic groups like Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, Sri Lankan among others, Singaporean cuisine hails from everywhere but is still unique in its own way.

So when I heard Foodhall was hosting an exclusive masterclass in association with the Singapore Embassy, I had to be there. The food superstore’s in-house chef whipped up some delectable recipes that were easy to make and not very time consuming too. Here’s a super quick recipe of the flat rice noodles with fresh herbs by Food Strategist, Swasti Aggarwal.

All ingredients are available at the Singapore food aisle in the store.

Ingredients:
1 pkt Koka flat rice noodles (soak in warm water to soften)
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– A pinch of salt and pepper

For herb and olive mix:
3 tbsp fresh parsley
– 6 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
– 1/4 cup green olive, thinly sliced
– 4 canned artichoke (cut to bite size)
– A pinch of rock salt and freshly cracked black pepper
– 1 cup good quality olive oil
– 12 Cherry tomatoes, halved

Method:
Heat up a non-stick pan and add olive oil.
– Fry the garlic till fragrant.
– Add flat rice noodles and the rest of the ingredients. Can also add other vegetables as per taste.
– Lightly fry for 3 to 4 minutes and season to taste.

Singapore Class